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Another OD 'Reservation Request' experience
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Giraffe



Joined: 26 Jun 2016
Posts: 324
Location: Cornwall, England

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're right louloup.

Many CC (and debit cards) transactions have a initial deduction of a nominal amount, say 1, to check the validity of the card. Very common in shop and online purchases.

Pre authorisation payments can taken where the final amount of the purchase is not known, eg petrol, hotels, car hire. Hence your friend's problem, where his CC deduction may have been equivalent to the maximum that the pump could deliver. The excess frozen monies are released after a few days when the vendor sends confirmed purchase details to the CC company.

All of the above deductions are done at the point of making the transaction.

I don't think the OD practice of taking a pre authorisation payment at enquiry/quote stage fits into this "normal" retail practice. But that's only my opinion, others may differ.
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Essar



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
Posts: 3244
Location: Bournemouth

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Giraffe wrote:
You're right louloup.

Many CC (and debit cards) transactions have a initial deduction of a nominal amount, say 1, to check the validity of the card. Very common in shop and online purchases.

Pre authorisation payments can taken where the final amount of the purchase is not known, eg petrol, hotels, car hire. Hence your friend's problem, where his CC deduction may have been equivalent to the maximum that the pump could deliver. The excess frozen monies are released after a few days when the vendor sends confirmed purchase details to the CC company.

All of the above deductions are done at the point of making the transaction.

I don't think the OD practice of taking a pre authorisation payment at enquiry/quote stage fits into this "normal" retail practice. But that's only my opinion, others may differ.


OD making the pre-authorisation request against an enquiry/quote is probably illegal; at no stage has a contract been made between the guest and OD or the guest and owner, whereas pre-authorisations at a hotel reception or for purchase of petrol through a payment machine have implied contracts for service and supply of goods. Letting them lapse after the owner specified timescale (1 to 5-days) is not fair on the guest who has their funds frozen for this time. What happens when they enquire about multiple properties? It seems a very odd way of ensuring payment of the traveller service fee; surely, they cannot pre-authorise a card until a booking request is made by the guests?
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newtimber



Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 1516
Location: Brighton

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Essar wrote:

OD making the pre-authorisation request against an enquiry/quote is probably illegal; at no stage has a contract been made between the guest and OD or the guest and owner, whereas pre-authorisations at a hotel reception or for purchase of petrol through a payment machine have implied contracts for service and supply of goods.


I think the guest has made more than an enquiry in this case. They clicked the "Book Now" button and gave their CC details. I don't think they take CC details for just an enquiry.

If the guest has done a "Book Now", then the owner has to reject or accept the booking and should not try to get them to book direct. I cannot see why you would want to in any event or have I missed something.
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Giraffe



Joined: 26 Jun 2016
Posts: 324
Location: Cornwall, England

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought SamV was referring to a "reservation request", not a "book now". Are these the same? I do neither online bookings nor online payments with OD. Am I confused by the terminology? If so, guests probably are as well. On the Radio 4 program, guests complaining about OD thought that they were just enquiring about a holiday, not making a booking.
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Hells Bells



Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 13118
Location: French Alps

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have just tested this out on my subscription listing. I have the options to 'Request booking' or an inconspicuous link to enquire now. When I click to request booking, there is the choice to use Homeaway Payments, or alternative payment methods, in this case Paypal. It doesn't matter which option I select, as a guest, I still have to pay the booking fees to HA using my credit card. If I do this for a number of properties, and select HA payments it would soon eat up the credit limit if each time it was pre-authorising a few hundred euros. As we all know not all owners get back to you. I enquired about a property last week for next summer. Still waiting for a reply.
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Giraffe



Joined: 26 Jun 2016
Posts: 324
Location: Cornwall, England

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apart from my confusion with terminology, I can't see the legality of the pre authorisation request as there could be no implied contract either between OD and the guest or Sam V and the guest

Sam V had not confirmed the booking. So how can OD have an implied contract as they did not know whether or not they had a holiday to sell the guest? Or are they basing their process just on calendar availability?

My head hurts. I'm now having a lovely glass of Sauvignon Blanc before bedtime!
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Sniffy



Joined: 30 Oct 2013
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My experience with OD, after being harassed (phone calls daily from France) to add online booking which I didn't want to do they asked me to update payment methods so tried it on one listing (have 3) and it automatically added online booking! (I had only put in Bacs. )

I noticed going through as customer the general enquiry form had gone and their online booking form added with service charge, after a distraught phone call at 1am in the morning to OD (good time to call btw Smile they removed the online booking and by 9am next morning was back to request information form only again. (Though when it sends quote to customer it shows booking fee which I can't control I just remove quote in reply correct to my prices in the reply I send, Also when filling in calendar I just put in customer first name and dates only as I don't want OD contacting my customers in anyway, particularly if they have booked via another site I advertise on.

Bbw Just to add salt into the wound the next day they (have a feeling it was agent in France) Changed all my listings by adding payment methods to all and added online booking on all 3. Another call to them explain ing I had not asked for online booking and had been added without my permission and asked for it to be removed did the trick (I don't think they dared point out it would lower my ranking!) Due to my location it doesn't bother me, OD still bring in the majority of our bookings.

If you don't use their payment system I highly recommend you ring them and ask online booking to be removed so only shows basic enquiry form on the book now button.

This doesn't help with your current customer, but at least can stop it happening with future guests.
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Sunbeam



Joined: 10 Aug 2015
Posts: 74
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think newtimber has explained the situation correctly.

We have taken online bookings successfully and efficiently.

If someone wants to "book now" we have 24 hours to "accept" the booking - and can discuss details with the guest in the meantime to check the property is suitable or otherwise.

A potential guest would not enter credit card details for booking multiple properties - they can easily make enquiries to different properties without committing to book.

So if you get a "ticking clock" of 24 hours to accept a booking, the potential guest has committed to a booking fee, and you will be subject to the 3% fee if you accept it.

We find OD (VBRO etc) online booking works well for guests coming from the US and Canada especially - no hassle figuring out exchange rates and transfer fees.
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